Over the last three years, Saudi Arabia has been working diligently towards achieving two of its key Vision 2030 objectives: to lower the country’s unemployment rate from 11.6% to 7% and increase women’s participation in the workforce to 30% by the year 2030. This week, the Kingdom reiterated its plan to support the economic empowerment and self-reliance of women in the country, stating that it aims to provide jobs for around one million Saudi women by the next 12 years.
The statement was made to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland by Mishaal Al-Balawi, head of the human rights division at the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia, during a discussion at the Human Rights Council with the working group regarding discrimination against women. According to various news reports, the meeting centered on the rights of women in today’s ever-changing global employment market.
Mishaal Al-Balawi, head of the human rights division at the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia in the UN.
During the meeting, Al-Balawi highlighted the role that Saudi women have always played in the country’s social and economic climate, and noted the importance of empowering them and providing them with access and opportunities to reach their full potential and contribute to the growth and diversification of the Kingdom. Al-Balawi also highlighted the great strides that have been made thus far by Saudi Arabia in empowering women, from reforms and initiatives, enforcing laws that protect them, and integrating them into various sectors and disciplines, particularly “science, technology, mathematics, and engineering.”
“The Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 have put women empowerment among their most important priorities. The Kingdom has banned discrimination against women in jobs, and ensured equalization of women with men in their wages, and enhanced awareness about the importance of women’s participation in the employment market,” Al-Balawi was quoted as saying by Saudi Gazette.